Game 60: Evan Longoria’s Costly Error Leads To 5-4 Loss

By Thomas Swan

The Tampa Bay Rays lost today in more ways than one. They lost their ninth game in a row but they also lost a cherished family member with the passing of Don Zimmer. This is a call to arms for Rays players and fans. The Rays have dug themselves a hole, but not an insurmountable one yet. If there was ever more of a reason to rally and right this ship, it should be for good ole Zim.

This was a game of almost. David Price almost pitched a good game and the Rays almost won, even loading the bases in the bottom of the ninth with nobody out. Instead, the Rays lost their ninth in a row and fall further back in the standings. If not for one inning and one play, this all might have been different but you have to see the positive. The Rays almost won. You really couldn’t say even that for the longest time. Maybe, just maybe everything will start to click for the Rays.

David Price pitched well for the most part, but the third inning was his undoing. An error by Evan Longoria, which would have resulted in the third out, caused the inning to continue and Donovan Solano, the very next batter, blasted a three run home run. That has been the problem during this run. Any mistake and the opponents are making the Rays pay. Price scattered nine hits over 7.1, striking out 11, but it was not enough. Brad Boxberger and Juan Carlos Oviedo combined for the other 1.2 innings, giving up 1 hit and striking out three.

The other positive Rays fans really have to like is Kevin Kiermaier. Offensively and defensively, he is the spark plug the Rays need. He gives his body on each and every play and it will be exciting to watch him develop all the more. You don’t ever want a player to get injured but watching Kiermaier settle in is a positive to be gleaned from Wil Myers‘ injury. As well, Ben Zobrist finally started to show power. He pulled a homer to right that looked like vintage Zobrist. Evan Longoria followed him in the bottom of the first and reminded Rays fans of what could be with a home run of his own. The ducks are kind of scattered at the moment but are there. Now, it will remain to be seen if the team can get them in order.

The Rays and Marlins will conclude the citrus series tomorrow, as Jake Odorizzi takes on Jacob Turner at 4:10 ET.